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Waterbury among school districts with officers posted outside buildings

Waterbury is just one of many school districts across the state that stepped up security.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:43 AM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 7:10 AM EDT
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - Police and education leaders across Connecticut continue to take steps to protect students at schools and help them deal with their grief following the tragedy in Texas.

It’s a two-pronged approach.

When children arrived Thursday at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School for example, police officers were posted outside the building. When students went inside every Waterbury school, they had access to mental health resources including counsellors.

Waterbury is just one of many school districts across the state that took the approach in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday.

Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo told Channel 3 that there is no timeline for how long the increased security will last. However, he said he’s meeting with school and community leaders this week. That will influence the decision and it’s possible that officers will continue to be posted outside Waterbury schools through the end of the academic year.

Psychologists also stressed that right now mental health is incredibly important.

Dr. Javeed Sukhera from the Institute of Living says spoke to Eyewitness News about it.

“It can be scary, it can be confusing about who to call and where to go, but the single best and most courageous thing you can do is ask for help and reach out,” Sukhera said. “That can be to someone you love and trust, it can be 211, or your family doctor or health professional.”

The Waterbury Public Schools district has eight full time school resource officers. Spagnolo said he hopes the police department’s relationship with students will also help them heal.

Police and education leaders across Connecticut continue to take steps to protect students at schools and help them deal with their grief.